Hundreds of late enrollees flock at public schools here Monday amid the start of regular classes for this year nationwide as mandated by the Department of Education (DepEd).
The enrollment extension came following an earlier order by DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro that public schools accommodate students for enrollment who failed to register during the advance registration for school year 2012-2013 last week.
“We still have walk-in enrollees up to this time,” Concepcion Balawag, city schools division superintendent, said.
Balawag noted that they have yet to collate data as to the number of late enrollees on over a dozen public schools scattered in the city.
She said they are expecting some 15,000 public school students enrolled at the kindergarten, elementary and high levels in the city this school year, an increase of some five percent on the 14,250 enrollments last year.
“With this, we would like to urge parents to do away with last-minute enrollment of their children as they could be missing early lessons or assignments made by the teachers,” Balawag stressed.
She said public schools in the city are currently operating at a ratio of one teacher per 45 students per classroom even as she reiterated the perennial lack of teachers in public schools amid the implementation this school year of the K+12 school curriculum.
“In the kindergarten level alone, the city schools division needs 123 teachers,” Balawag said.
Fortunately though, she said there were volunteers who have expressed their intention to help teach in the kindergarten level over an honorarium of P3,000 monthly.
Among others, Balawag said public schools here still have to deal with the recurring problems on the shortage of classrooms and textbooks for its students.
“On books, we are trying hard to reduce the ratio of one textbook per five students to 1:2 this year,” she said.
In nearby Maguindanao province, First Division Provincial Schools Supt. Merriam Kawit said they have estimated enrollment at 110,000 in the primary and secondary levels at 276 and 42 schools, respectively, in some 15 of the province’s 36 municipalities under her area of supervision.
The towns include Shariff Aguak, Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer, Talayan, Talitay, Datu Piang, Datu Sangki, Guindolongan and Rajah Buayan, among others.
“We only have 2,100 teachers to cater to the huge number of students in my area. We have a current ratio of 1:60 per classroom,” Kawit said.